Imagine you’re stranded on a desert island with only a single album for your listening pleasure. Some may pick an epic rock record and others a low-key recorded jazz session. Whether you mainly focus on the poetic side or you’re crazy about complex musical compositions, everyone has that one album they could listen to on repeat. So find a comfortable palm tree to curl up under and ease back as The Channels Editorial Board gives you those desert island albums they could listen to again and again.
August Lawrence, Arts & Entertainment Editor
‘Tommy, Live in Canada’ – The Who (1969)
The singer forgets lines and the drummer can’t keep a steady beat — The Who aren’t the greatest live band. But I could listen to the famous 1969 bootleg performance of their rock opera, “Tommy, Live in Canada,” all day, everyday, and never tire of it. I like the studeo release of “Tommy,” but it’s too produced and perfected for my taste. Something just clicked when I found the live version. Here’s The Who’s famous bombastic sound and onstage rage. The Who were amazing writers and composers, and the beauty of their art somehow blends perfectly with their famous grit and anger. The quality is far from perfect, the guitars are out of tune and the rhythm section gets steadily sloppier as the show progresses, but that raw energy and attitude they give off practically explodes out of the speakers. This recording energizes and cheers me up. This is the perfect example of what a live show should be.
Desiree Erdmann, Photo Editor
‘What Could Possibly Go Wrong’ – Dominic Fike (2020)
Picking one singular album that I would take with me to a desert island is a hard quest for me. I personally just listen to a mishmash of songs from small artists I couldn’t necessarily name on random playlists that I make when bored. Over the years I have had albums that just take me away when I listen on repeat, but to find the one I could listen to for an indefinite amount of time would take a deep-dive into my Spotify archives. After looking for a while and making my housemates listen to a couple with me, I think the newest album by Dominic Fike, “What Could Possibly Go Wrong,” is my pick. The album is still quite new, roughly three months since its release, but most definitely tops my list of favorites. Each song is unique and not like the next, yet they still all flow together whether you play it in order or on shuffle. The mix of song lengths and feelings each track gives off always has me wanting for more, and is one that I could just listen to forever.
Alloy Zarate, Features Editor
‘Led Zeppelin III’ – Led Zeppelin (1970)
The only thing I could reach from my seat out of my suitcase on a four-hour plane ride last summer was a cassette tape of “Led Zeppelin III.” I closed my eyes and listened to it on loop, reminiscing about the last month I spent experiencing beautiful scenery and meeting distant family members in Mexico. The trip was stressful and this album was the perfect meditative experience I needed after dealing with the intense security checks it took to fly back to the U.S. The album includes some of the sweetest acoustic melodies I’ve ever heard alongside the hard rock that the band is most known for. There’s not a single song on this album that I don’t love. The tape was given to me by a friend a few weeks after I mentioned that I wished I didn’t have to rely on my phone so much. She showed me a bunch of her ex-punk dad’s old tapes and let me pick out a few. The tape was my introduction to Led Zeppelin. Listening to this album now, on Spotify or tape, takes me back to some of my happiest memories.
Rodrigo Hernandez, News Editor
‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ – The Beatles (1967)
It’s The Beatles, need I say more? Their catalogue of music, even before their solo careers, is extensive and full of gems and pieces that redefined and revolutionized music, with impacts that still seep into today. When I first started collecting vinyl records, “Sgt. Pepper’s” is one of those must-haves that makes any collection complete. I’ve spun this record dozens of times on my turntable, and whenever I feel stressed or blue, “With A Little Help From My Friends” is always there to brighten the mood. The album’s cover art with its iconic image, to the various musical influences ranging from vaudeville and avant-garde to Western and Indian classical music, makes listening to this record a true musical experience. The “fab four” take the listener on a psychedelic journey; and for 40 minutes, you can be lost in your own world. There are few albums that I consider perfect, meaning I wouldn’t skip a single song, and this record is definitely one of those albums.
Jacob Frank, Opinion Editor
‘Faces’ – Mac Miller (2014)
Everything I could ask for in music resides in the 2014 mixtape by Mac Miller, “Faces.” The composition is like a brutally-honest journal and conversation exploring his personal life and thoughts weaved through an ongoing addiction to drugs. I was first introduced to it my sophomore year of highschool in 2015, but it wasn’t until later that I fell in love with it. I don’t know how many times I’ve played the mixtape. I have it on CD in my car; and if I start it, I kinda have to play it all the way through, and I’m rapping every word with him in that same raspy voice and lethargic tone. The jazzy-alternative infused hip-hop tracks bleed into each other effortlessly to create a work of art like no other. Like a drug-infused rollercoaster, it takes you in and out of Miller’s heart and mind, up to some of his most passionate feelings and way down to moments of isolation and destruction. You feel as if you’re his best friend sitting right there in the famous studio, “doing blow and paraphrasing the crucible.” I couldn’t get sick of it.
Ryan P. Cruz, Editor-in-Chief
‘Blonde’ – Frank Ocean (2016)
2016 represented a very important and surreal time for me. I was unsure of what I should do with my life and for the most part I was just floating through life without a direction. I was feeling lost, and one thing that made me feel better was music. Frank Ocean’s second studio album, “Blonde,” was released in August of 2016, and for much of the year I had it on repeat. I would skateboard around the city with my headphones in and just get carried away by these strange psychedelic pop ballads and avant-garde soul songs. Tracks like “Nike”, “Chanel”, and “Nights” are layered with lyrics and melodies that just stick to your soul. “Solo”, “Ivy”, “White Ferrari” are both haunting and hopeful. Ocean has a unique ability with his songwriting, production and smooth baritone voice to take listeners on a journey with him and feel what he feels. At a time when I was not feeling much it was great to have music that could captivate me so much. If I were on a desert island, I imagine I would be feeling isolated, forgotten and lost, and “Blonde” would allow me to bask in my feelings while also keeping me endlessly entertained until I am able to fashion my escape raft and get back home.